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Green-Day November 14, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, National, Politics.
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Is this the beginning of something meaningful, or just an oasis of change?

Read this article to find out what I’m talking about…

The recent election was a strong performance for the Green party on a State and Local level.  The Green candidate for Governor, Rich Whitney, garnered significant support in his bid this November, and local candidates Futrelle and Yfantis were able to grab over 20% of the votes in their respective county board races.

I find this to be very interesting.  I’m not sure if this is a long term trend or just a temporary displeasure with the two major parties.  Personally, I think the Green party is very promising.  I just don’t know if enough other people feel the same way.

Another interesting topic in the article was instant runoff voting.  I’m not sure I get the whole gist of it from the article, but it sounds like an interesting option.  I think primaries are a joke anyway.

Hopefully the Green party continues to make improved showings, because until the two major parties start losing votes, they’ll never change.

Oh, by the way, here was my favorite quote from the article:

The Republican leadership is being “held accountable for some of its failed policies in Iraq,” while Democrats are not proving an alternative to corporate sponsorship of politics, he said.  (quoting Futrelle)

That is a dead money quote.  It couldn’t be more accurate in my opinion.

What do you think of the Green party?  They’re staying power?


Post-Election Thoughts… November 9, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, National, Politics.
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I’m a little late with this one, but oh well. Overall, I’m not really shocked by election night.

Basically the people I expected won. The only “surprises” were Frerichs winning in the 52nd and Beckett and Wysocki POUNDING Farney and the rest of the competition in County Board District 9.

On the state level, the Greens had an excellent showing. I’m not sure if that is because of their positions or the disappointment in the 2 major parties. My guess is the later.

I’m disappointed that no Greens could grab a spot on the County Board. The few Green party folks I’ve met are extremely nice, and would infuse a new, different, and fresh perspective to the County Board.

Nationally, the war in Iraq is obviously taking its toll on the Republican party. I didn’t think it was going to hurt republicans that bad, but I think it clearly did.  As this story indicates, Dems now control the house and senate.
Please feel free to post your thoughts.

Election Day: Predictions November 7, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, Politics.

Today is Election Day, so get out there and “rock the vote”!

Seriously, make your vote count and get to the polls sometime today.  The polls are open from 6AM to 7PM.   Go to the Champaign County Clerk website to check your voter registration status and locate your polling place.

If you read my blog regularly, you’ll know that each week I do the football pick ’ems.

Today, just call this my E-Day pick ’ems.  And my predictions are….

Governor:  Rod Blagojevich – Democrat
Attorney General: Lisa Madigan – Democrat
Secretary of State: Jesse White – Democrat

Comptroller: Dan Hynes – Democrat

Treasurer: Alexander Giannoulias – Democrat
Rep. in Congress – 15th District: Tim Johnson – Republican
52nd Legislative District: Judy Myers – Republican (Frerichs wins Champaign County, but not by enough)

55th Legislative District: Dale Righter – Republican (uncontested)

Rep. 103rd District: Naomi Jakobsson – Democrat
Rep. 104th District: Bill Black – Republican (uncontested)

Rep. 105th District: Shane Cultra – Republican (uncontested)

Rep. 110th District: Chapin Rose Republican (uncontested)

County Clerk: Mark Shelden – Republican

County Sheriff: Dan Walsh – Republican (uncontested)

County Treasurer: Dan Welch – Republican (uncontested)

County Board District 1: Chris Doenitz – Republican

County Board District 2: Stan James, Kevin Hunt – Republicans (uncontested)

County Board District 3: Brad Jones, Jonathan Schroeder – Republicans

County Board District 4: Steve Moser, Greg Knott – Republican

County Board District 5: Lorraine Cowart – Democrat

County Board District 6: Tony Fabri, Matthew Gladney – Democrats

County Board District 7: Mark Randall – Republican
County Board District 8: Thomas Betz, Ralph Langenheim – Democrats

County Board District 9: John Farney – Republican, Barb Wysocki – Democrat

Overall, nothing too surprising.  Overall, a not-so-exciting election, if you’re looking for really close races.

Feel free to disagree/agree, or chime in with your predictions on this Election Day…

52nd District Questionnaire: Joe Parnarauskis – Socialist Equality Party November 5, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, Politics.

For those of you who might not know, Joe Parnarauskis is the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) candidate for the 52nd Senate District seat.

Most of you in our area will be voting on this race on Tuesday (November 7th).

First, let me give a BIG thanks to Joe Pa for actually answering the questionnaire that I sent out.

The other two candidates, whom I will not mention in this post, didn’t even give a bother; not even a “sorry, we’re too busy” email.

Anyways, follow this link to see the original questions I sent to all 3 candidates. The questions are also listed below, before the responses.

Below are Mr. Parnarauskis’ answers. Enjoy, some very good reading.

J-dub’s Questionnaire
Joseph Parnarauskis
SEP candidate for state senate in the 52nd district

1. What do you like most about the 52nd District?

“The people. This district is full of honest and sincere working people and students.”

2. Who has inspired you the most personally, professionally?

“There are many people, but one in particular has inspired us during this campaign, and that is Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln practiced law in this area, and was called forward to leadership in the struggle to abolish slavery from the land. Lincoln was also the standard-bearer of a new third party—the Republican Party–that had to break down the old two-party duopoly that had for years propped up slavery.”

3. Give ONE reason why you are a better selection than the other 2 candidates?

“I am the only candidate who stands for the interests of working people.”

4. What do you think is the single most important issue (a.k.a. #1
priority) that needs addressed with relation to our District and/or State?

“Certainly, the biggest single issue facing working people in this area is the ongoing war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many young men and women have been killed or maimed from this district and state, and billions of Illinois tax dollars have been squandered on it—depriving social services, education, and infrastructure of desperately-needed funds. Fundamental principles of the American republic and democracy are being undermined in the service of the so-called war on terror. On top of this, a recent study from Johns Hopkins found that 655,000 Iraqis have been killed so far in this war, which both the Democrats and Republicans have backed to the hilt.

“I am the only candidate on the ballot who opposes the war and calls for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of US troops from all foreign bases. I think it is entirely legitimate—in fact, it is my duty as a candidate in a public election campaign—to draw attention to the most pressing issues of the day, regardless of the office I am seeking.

“In fact, the eruption of American militarism is bound up with social problems which find their direct expression in the 52nd district, and which are eminently pertinent to a state senator: the attack on democratic rights and the attack on working-class living conditions.

“In 2004 and 2006, as the SEP attempted to get on the ballot in this area, we were met with the full force of the American political establishment. This year, the Democrats spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and deployed dozens of their key personnel in the effort to exclude me from the ballot. We only achieved ballot access after 80 days of legal and administrative hearings, where we fought the Democrats every step of the way.

“Danville, near where I live, has been hit especially hard by the sharp redistribution of wealth to the super-rich. In Danville, unemployment is now 8.4%, only 70% of students graduate high school, and the median household income is declining the fastest out of all of the cities in all of the states in the US. Home prices fell by 18.4% last year, and are expected to fall again this year by an additional 20%.

“I encourage everyone to find out more about the SEP and my platform at our website, http://www.wsws.org.”

5. Abortion – Personally, do you agree/disagree with abortion? Legally, what would be your ideal abortion policy?

“Abortion should be fully legal, with full state financial support in cases of financial need. Abortion is a medical procedure that must be taken out of the hands of the politicians and placed back where it belongs: as a private decision between a woman and her doctor.”

6. Minimum Wage Increase – Would you vote to help raise the minimum wage, or would you like to keep the minimum wage the same as it stands now?

“I call for a sharp increase in the minimum wage, and in Springfield I would fight for the biggest increase possible. The current minimum wage is absurdly low. At the same time, I’m warning workers that the Democratic Party is talking about a miserly increase in the minimum wage only because we’re in an election year. Workers can’t be fooled by these false promises any longer. To defend their interests, workers have to build their own
socialist, international political party that can fight against corporate globalization, which is the ultimate source of the relentless attacks on workers’ living standards in this country and around the world.”

“I encourage everyone to read my statement on the issue here.”

7. Stem Cell Research – Is this a wise venture for the State? Should we be spending state funds to promote such research?

“Stem cell research holds open the possibility of major medical and scientific breakthroughs, and I support its development with state funding. As a registered nurse, I’ve witnessed over the years the important impact scientific research and development has on matters of life and death. Politicians with a religious agenda cannot be allowed to stifle scientific thought.”

8. Alternative Fuels – Do you feel as if we are doing as much as possible with respect to alternative fuels? Either way, please explain your answer.

“We in the Socialist Equality Party support serious scientific research on alternative fuels. But the notion that the replacement of alternative fuels for oil offers a way out of geopolitical conflict and environmental destruction–an idea that the Greens are busy peddling–is bankrupt. The basic issue is this: the commanding heights of the American and world economy must be taken out of the hands of the wealthy elite and placed under
the democratic control of working people. Only in such a way can a rationally-planned and humane economy develop. Again, I encourage your readers to visit our election platform at wwws.wsws.org. We believe we are the only party standing in this election that actually bothered to produce a platform.”

9. Social Security – Do we need to reform the Social Security system? If so, do you agree/disagree with President Bush’s idea to privatize the system? If you disagree with privatization, please briefly explain your solution.

“I oppose privatization of the Social Security system. This is a trick, pure and simple, to allow Wall Street to get its hands on enormous new resources. Privatization would produce a disaster for millions upon millions of working-class Americans. But the Socialist Equality Party doesn’t only defend the current system from attack. We call for a vast expansion of retirement benefits and a lowering of the retirement age. The right to a secure retirement is a basic human right.”

10. Higher Education/Pensions – Do you think we need to increase funding to our schools, most notably at the college/university level? If so, how would propose increasing the funding? Also, how would you remedy the under-funded pension system in our state?

“When they’re not campaigning for election, the Democrats and Republicans claim that there is simply not enough money to do all the things you ask in this question. We reject that position with contempt. There are abundant resources to provide free higher education to all, fund our primary and secondary school system far beyond the current level, and fully fund the state pension system. The immense resources generated by Illinois workers, however, are being squandered to line the pockets of the wealthy elite and to carry out the murderous war in Iraq, which is supported by both major parties. To offer just two examples, Illinois now has 19 billionaires worth a combined $40 billion dollars, and Illinois taxpayers have funded the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the tune of $20 billion dollars. These are enormous figures, and they put the lie to the claim that there’s just not enough money. In essence with the budgets they pass what the Democrats and Republicans are saying is that Illinois can no longer afford its workers and students. In fact, the opposite is the case: Illinois workers and students can no longer afford the superrich and the two parties they control!”

Please feel free to chime in with your thoughts and comments about Mr. Parnarauskis’ responses to my questions.

Also, be respectful of his replies or your posts will be removed. You can disagree/agree, critique, etc, but keep it intelligent and respectful!!!

Negative Campaign Ads October 31, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, National, Politics.
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Read this article from the AP.
Here are my favorite bits:

So far this campaign, the political parties have exposed voters to nearly $160 million in ads attacking congressional candidates. How much spent painting a positive image? About $17 million.

The message ingrained in such a disparity in numbers: Don’t vote for a candidate; vote against the opponent.

At this point, Republicans have spent $87.5 million to oppose candidates and Democrats have spent $72.6 million. But the edge on negativity, according to independent analyses of the ads, goes to the GOP.

“Negative ads only work in two situations — when you are incredibly desperate or when you’re incredibly close to the end,” said Ray Seidelman, a professor of politics at Sarah Lawrence College who has studied political advertising and voter turnout.

I’m sure most of you can relate to this story.  Every person I’ve talked to about the 52nd Ads is ill over all the negative talk.  I guess I can’t figure out why campaign managers/staffers don’t get it.  I mean, 99% of people hate the negative ads, so why run them?  Cause your candidate stinks?  You’ve got nothing else to talk about?  Or do they really work?

I’ve got my opinions, for local and national races, what about you?

52nd District Questionnaire October 31, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, Politics.

Last Sunday, October 22nd, I sent an email to all 3 of the candidates in the 52nd District race. The email contained the following:


I’m a local blogger, and resident/registered voter in the 52nd Senate District. I’ve lived in various parts of the district my entire life. I’m writing this email with hopes that each candidate will respond and I can post the responses to my blog. The responses will displayed as they are given, and I will not modify them in any way. I will comment/critique them as I see fit, but I will not alter the responses. Fellow viewers of my blog may also comment on the posts as well.

Please note that I am not affiliated with any political party (I’ve never voted in a primary), but merely someone who tries to remain as unpartisan as humanly possible.

I must also point out, that I am trying to do this for a multitude of reasons:

1. I’d love to get unfiltered, real, responses from the actual candidates themselves; without any media interference/bias.
2. I’m hoping to put together a valuable series of posts for the few hundred people who visit my blog on a daily basis.
3. I believe my questions are pertinent issues for this election and this would be something that would not expel a large amount of time to complete.

Basically, you are free to do as you wish. The questions I have posed are listed below. Please feel free to elaborate where appropriate.

Also, ANSWER the questions. I do not want a negative campaign ad, as a response. Tell me about yourself, because that is what I am looking for.

Please feel free to ask any questions you may have with respect to this email. The responses, if given, will be posted to my blog https://jdub217.wordpress.com

Hopefully, you will find time in your busy campaign schedule to complete this request.

Thank You,


1. What do you like most about the 52nd District?

2. Who has inspired you the most personally, professionally?

3. Give ONE reason why you are a better selection than the other 2 candidates?

4. What do you think is the single most important issue (a.k.a. #1 priority) that needs addressed with relation to our District and/or State?

5. Abortion – Personally, do you agree/disagree with abortion? Legally, what would be your ideal abortion policy?

6. Minimum Wage Increase – Would you vote to help raise the minimum wage, or would you like to keep the minimum wage the same as it stands now?

7. Stem Cell Research – Is this a wise venture for the State? Should we be spending state funds to promote such research?

8. Alternative Fuels – Do you feel as if we are doing as much as possible with respect to alternative fuels? Either way, please explain your answer.

9.Social Security – Do we need to reform the Social Security system? If so, do you agree/disagree with President Bush’s idea to privatize the system? If you disagree with privatization, please briefly explain your solution.

10. Higher Education/Pensions – Do you think we need to increase funding to our schools, most notably at the college/university level? If so, how would propose increasing the funding? Also, how would you remedy the under-funded pension system in our state?

So far, Joe Parnarauskis is the only candidate to respond. He replied, with all his answers, by the 24th. I have not heard a peep from either Judy Myers or Mike Frerichs. Not even an email saying, “Sorry, we’re too busy”. Basically, no acknowledgement that my email even existed. In case you are wondering, I sent the email to their campaign email addresses, which are plastered all over their websites.

This is my last effort to get participation from Myers and Frerichs. If I still receive no response, I’ll still post Parnarauskis’ answers.

For the rest of you non-candidates; Do you think my questions were/are pertinent? What else should I have asked? I probably know one that most of you will bring up, but I’ll wait and see what you have to say first.

County Board Meeting Tonight October 25, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, Politics.
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Sounds like the County Board has called a special meeting tonight.

IP has a post about it, which you can read here. They also link to a News-Gazette article about it.

Basically, if you’ve followed the Champaign County Nursing Home issue, then you’ll probably be interested in what happens.

No matter what happens tonight, I just hope that we can get some closure to this issue, get the NH open, and move on to other important County business.

Also, is anybody else wondering why County Republicans haven’t started using the acronym NHM (a.k.a. Nursing Home Mold)? Dubya, would be proud.

I could see the press conferences and newspaper articles already…”Local republicans have determined that there was additional NHM found on site…”

Sorry, just me trying to be humorous again… 🙂

Tax Breaks Continued… October 24, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, Politics.

Read this article to get updated…Also, here is my previous post on this topic.

Let me give you a quick rundown. Last month, our County Board voted to not grant an enterprise zone to the Clearview Project out by the I-57/I-74 interchange. This is important because Christie, Carle, as well as other businesses, are looking to build in this area. The tax abatement will last for five years.

The Board changed their tune this month. They decided to grant the tax break this month.

County Democrats called attention to the practices of Christie and Carle. Most notably, the fact that they don’t take uninsured patients, etc.

Maybe the County Dems think it makes sense to not allow the break because you don’t agree with the business practices, but I don’t like that approach. I think it makes sense to not grant the tax break by determining whether or not this is a location worthy of an enterprise zone label. Honestly, that would be the more legal approach in my mind.

So let’s say you take the County Dems approach, and you really, truly care about the health care practices of these two businesses. Why not make a deal? Tell Christie and Carle that you’ll grant the enterprise zone if you hit certain “target” numbers for uninsured, medicaid/medicare patients, etc. If they don’t hit the numbers, they pay the county back…with interest even.

I don’t think that is too difficult, but maybe it would be. Maybe you’d have a hell of time monitoring that, but I wouldn’t think so. If they can monitor it, and point out the shortcomings of the two businesses; surely they could monitor the increase/decrease as well.

My conclusion is this. Obviously the County Dems threw out every possible reason to not grant the zone: they didn’t want to choose sides between Christie,Carle, & Provena, the zone didn’t classify (but the Ethanol plant not far away did), we don’t like the way Christie/Carle do business, etc. And in the end, they didn’t get any sticking points on either of those issues. So what was the point? Did you really mean any of it? I also wonder if all the Union folks, who usually donate lots of $ to Dem campaigns, who showed at the meeting had any kind of influence on the vote? I’m guessing that MIGHT have had a slight effect on just enough Dems.

In the end, the Board got the vote right; it only took two months and two tries.

I just wish everyone would cut the crap and things would get done a lot sooner and smoother.

Joe Parnarauskis… October 22, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, Politics.

…come out, come out, wherever you are.

Joe Pa, I need an email address.  The email address provided in the Champaign County Voter’s Guide bounced back.  I was hoping to send an email to your attention.  I have some election related questions that I would like to ask you.

I also submitted my questions via the World Socialist web site.  I used the online form and requested it be sent to your attention.


IP vs Frerichs? October 10, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, Politics.
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That’s what the 52nd race has turned into now, or has it?  Here’s a post at Illinipundit.com which talks about the incident.  Honestly, I’ve been a consistent, usually daily reader of Illinipundit.  Never have I heard Frerichs being personally attacked for anything other than his height.  And anyone who reads on a regular basis knows that is basically a joke.

I’m sure Mike is upset at all the negative campaigning that has been going on at IP since he announced his candidacy for the 52nd district.  I wonder if that’s why he went negative on TV and Radio so early in the campaign?  He had to make up for lost time maybe?  Either way, I don’t know, but it’s just a thought.

Basically, IP has never personally attacked Frerichs; maybe some commenters have, but none of the authors.  They leave their “attacks” to the political arena.   I can see the confusion by Frerichs considering Gordy Hulten, a Judy Myers staffer, is the main author/caretaker of the site.  However, for the third time, Gordy and the IP authors have only criticized/attacked Mike politically and not personally. 

Tax Breaks September 28, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, Politics.
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I’m not an expert on enterprise zones, and I don’t pretend to play one on TV.  However, I found the efforts of our beloved County Board to be quite amusing last Thursday.  They didn’t want to give Christie a tax break, but they wanted to give the proposed ethanol plant a tax break.  Okay, I might be able to see the reasoning behind that.  Giving a tax break to the ethanol people looks better than giving the hospital a tax break.

Read this story to get caught up.
What I don’t get is Board Member Weibel’s assessment of the land, and his reasoning for voting the way he did.  Here’s what Mr. Weibel had to say about the Christie Land:

Fellow Democrat C. Pius Weibel of Champaign said the purpose of enterprise zones is to entice new businesses, particularly to depressed areas. Neither was this a new business nor is the outlying neighborhood depressed, he said.

Here’s what he said about the Anderson’s land:

Weibel called the affected area “neutral” and more suited to help from the government.

I don’t get the comparison.  And just by reading the legal descriptions, the land isn’t that far apart from each other.  I’d say both chunks of land are neutral.  There isn’t a whole lot going on in either location.  So essentially, not much difference in makeup.  The only problem I see is that the Christie chunk of land appears to be somewhat larger (60-80 acres).

Also, WHO CARES if Provena would be affected by Christie’s new facility? Board Member Putman and others  took the “I don’t want to take sides” approach, which basically means, I’m too chicken to vote one way or the other.  I’m not saying we throw Provena under the bus, but seriously, when did the County Board have to start babysitting every business in the County?  So if both businesses were up for a tax break on land, then it would be okay to give them both a break?  I don’t understand that logic either.  You give Christie the break now and when Provena needs help in the future, you give them help also.  It’s as simple as that.  Also, you can just as easily upset Christie, by taking sides, and protecting Provena (which is essentially what they are doing and saying).

Even if Provena folds, Carle, Christie, the University, or somebody else would buy up Provena’s land in a heart beat.  They’d put more jobs right back in there and be successful in that location.  I guess I get tired of the cry babies who can’t handle competition from other businesses.  I want this area to thrive and grow, not fester with businesses who aren’t smart enough, or motivated enough to be the best.

Rush is an IDIOT… September 21, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, National, Politics.

I listen to bits and pieces of Rush Limbaugh on a daily basis. I keep contemplating the need for a clinical evaluation, but I figure it’s just my open mindedness getting the better of me.

Tuesday I was listening to Rush and he made this absurd comment (I’m paraphrasing, but this is very close to original. I’d love for a Rush subsciber to give me the exact text!):

“Democrats can do all the voter registration drives they want. They can register thousands and thousands of voters, but their cumulative intelligence will be the same as the eraserhead of a pencil.”

Basically, he was saying Democrats are stupid (which he stated several times) and un-informed about politics. He then proceeded to talk about how Democrat voters were duped by a Republican mailing (which he deemed a joke and found quite humorous) that stated election day was on wednesday instead of tuesday. I guess that was his justification for Democrat voters being stupid. I understand his point about the mailing, but seriously, why stereotype every single Dem voter?

I hate to re-hash history, but this is the same guy who stated the following about Donovan McNabb (a black NFL quarterback) while an employee of ESPN:

“The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well”, Limbaugh said. “There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn’t deserve. The defense carried this team.”

Yeah, nevermind the fact that McNabb is/was one of the top 10 QBs in the league with almost no supporting cast on offense. However, I guess stereotyping is just another day on the job for Rush. As such, I shouldn’t be surprised with his latest comments.  Let me put the shoe on the other foot for a moment; so that means Rush is a pain-killer/meds addict who is put on a pedestal by all republicans.  Also, every Republican who registers to vote is a toothless, imbred, hillbilly who loves to shop at wal-mart, and drink beer.

All I can say is, WOW, what an idiot. I apologize for picking on such a Republican icon, but comments like this are ludicrous. Rush does have some great points (especially about the media), and he usually backs them with source information. That’s what I listen for. It’s the times where he give his opinions that I change the channel.

PS:  My comments above are to illustrate a point, and are not intended to be read as truth; merely to illustrate my point. 

Taking the high road… September 20, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, Politics.
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Well, the folks over at Illinipundit would like you to think Judy Myers is against negative advertising, and that negative advertising is only an act of desperation by a candidate who is in trouble or trying to avoid trouble.

However, Judy Myers is running negative ads of her own against her opponent Mike Frerichs; about 10 days after Mike’s first negative ad. Mike did run negative ads first, but who really cares who ran them first? I guess, if I was a republican, I could point that out everytime the issue came up. Of course, if I were a democrat, I could always bring up the fact that Judy is running negative ads also. Point being, neither candidate is better than the other for running negative ads. The common voter, myself included, thinks they both could have (and should have) avoided negative ads and in the end things balance out. Maybe if one candidate stays positive it helps them, but I also think that negative ads are prevalent for a reason; they must work.

Speaking of negative ads, CU Listener has a great post detailing the negative campaign that has been happening at Illinipundit for at least the better part of 6 months. I know it’s not the same thing, but in this day and age, it’s probably even better than an ad buy.
Also, what does this say about the Myers’ campaign? Over at IP, I was told Frerichs is running negative ads because he is “trailing badly” (as the negative Judy Myers ad states). I thought Judy had a huge lead? I also asked why Blago was running negative ads, and I was told the following:

“Blago has much higher name recognition than Frerichs, and voters already have an opinion of Blagojevich. For many voters, the first time they’re going to hear/remember Frerichs name is in association with a negative ad.”

So, how many people have heard of Judy Myers recently? I’m guessing roughly the same number that have heard about Frerichs. Which completely negates the quote above.

In the end, I’m trying to illustrate a classical example of politics today. Each candidate, NO MATTER WHICH PARTY, is trying to tell you exactly what you want to hear. Personally, I get really tired of Republicans AND Democrats trying to paint these wonderful pictures of themselves.  Then, the next day, doing exactly what they criticized their oppenent for doing. My best advice, get out and research the candidates for yourself, and be careful of your sources of information. If something a candidate, or a staffer, says is questionable; look it up. Ask somebody you trust. Don’t be naive, politics today feasts on the naive and uninformed people.

Boring! September 19, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, Politics.
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That’s how I’d describe this election season in Champaign County.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still interested, I just think there aren’t a whole lot of races in doubt.  I think we have too many uncontested races, and too many poor opponents against the handful of incumbents with opponents.

Here are my general thoughts:

A lot of uncontested races, which sucks for a variety of reasons.

CB 7 & 9 should be interesting.

Rod Blago, Jesse White, Tim Johnson, Hynes, and Madigan should roll easily. At the county level, Shelden should win easily also.  (Some of these, I wish weren’t the case)

The 52nd Senate (Myers, Frerichs, and maybe Joe Pa) and the 103rd State Rep (Naomi, Rex, Tom) are the only races that will be close. The State Treasurer could be close, but I think Alexander G, will roll also.

What do you think? Is there a race you think I’m misjudging? What, if anything, am I overlooking?

52nd District: Sign War September 18, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, Politics.
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Who’s winning the “Sign War” in your neck of the woods?

I really love those GIGANTIC signs….

My neck of the woods….Frerichs is winning…

PS: I know volume of signs means nothing in this race, but for some reason the signs (and the ridiculous number of them) fascinate me. So please, humor me would ya…

Judy Who? September 12, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, Politics.
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Is Judy Baar Topinka still running for Governor?judy.jpg

I hope somebody can tell me, because I sure can’t tell.

The sad thing is, Blagojevich was/is vulnerable in this race. A formidable candidate could have definetely knocked him out of office. The problem is, a formidable opponent was not put up against him. No, the statewide Republican party selected Judy-I’m-connected-to-George-Ryan-Baar-Topinka instead of another viable option. Great move considering George Ryan just got sent to jail for over 6 years. The only real reason I’ve heard for Judy’s selection is because the Republicans thought she was the only one who could take Rod down.

That’s a great reason for selecting a candidate; another thing I hate about politics (let’s pick who we think can win, even if that person isn’t out best candidate). Nevermind the fact that everytime she starts to talk, I want to change the channel. She has to be one of the most annoying/rude personalities I’ve ever seen in politics. That is just my opinion, but the Blagojevich campaign must have similar thoughts. Every one of Rod’s commercials has Judy making some weird face or saying something ridiculous/annoying.

Illinipundit has a link to Judy’s latest ad. She finally began running TV spots last week. I know Blago has 4-5 times the money as JBT, but her campaign doesn’t have to be overload to get a win. She just has to be smart, and I don’t think she’s been that way so far. Anyways, we probably won’t see too many of them downstate, I guess she is focusing her money up north; which could be a smart move. However, I don’t think you win by trying to change your opponents mind(in this case, chasing after Chicago Democrat votes). I think you win by supercharging your base, like Bush did in 2004.

Basically, I think Blago blasts Judy in November. IP also has a post on polling numbers for the 52nd district with respect to the Governor’s race. They don’t seem too promising to me. I figured any decent Republican would be blasting Rod, in this area at least, by this time in the race. I don’t think she will put too much more distance between her and Rod here, since she’s spending a majority of her TV dollars up north, but maybe I’m wrong.

A Wall Street Journal/Zogby Poll shows Rod leading the State by 13 pts (give or take 3 pts). I’m sorry, but that’s terrible this stage of the game. Especially with Rod hammering the TV at least triple the amount as JBT, and her obvious disadvantage in funds/appeal.

I think it’s a shame the Republican party in Illinois is such a joke. I was really hoping for a better option in November. Unfortunately, I’ll probably skip this race on the ballot. I don’t think I can vote for either one of these jokers. I hate living in a state where politics appear to be some of the most corrupt and ludicrous in the entire nation.

Does Judy stand a chance? What’s to be done with the Illinois Republican Party in general? Would it matter in a typically blue state?

Your thoughts appreciated as always…

52nd Senate: TV Campaign Ads September 7, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, Politics.

So far I’ve seen 2 ads for Judy Myers and Mike Frerichs for State Senator in the 52nd District.

Here are my thoughts (as a voter):

Judy Myers Ad: Visually unappealing, just old pictures and a voice over. However, her message was specifically targeted towards the voters on her key “issues”.

Mike Frerichs Ad: More visually appealing than Judy’s ad, with photographs of Mike with family, a graduation picture (college, I think), and a current photo of him at work. But, the message was more of a background/highlight reel of Mike’s career.

The only reason I mentioned the part about “visually appealing” is because that IS important with TV or print ads. You need to catch a person’s eye or else they’ll probably change the channel or throw the flier away. Obviously, political types will watch the ad regardless. However, those who aren’t as involved will probably lose interest.

Judy’s ad was disappointing because all she ever talks about is her time in the Senate from 97-2002. I keep wondering if she’s really interested in this race or if she’s a relic who the Republicans are trying to throw back in the saddle for lack of a better candidate. I just don’t see Judy as an actual person, it’s like she’s invisible. I hear all sorts of things from her campaign people, but never from her.

Mike’s ad was a “highlight reel” of his career. While I liked getting to learn about his background and see pictures of his family, etc; I didn’t get a whole lot of information about the “issues” from his ad. I got mostly background information. Mike’s ad(s) can be effective if he follows it up with another ad which focuses specifically on the issues. Then you get the whole picture (background info, issues info, etc).

Overall, I thought the first round of ads was a tie. Judy’s ad had more content on the “issues”, which in the end is more important. She just needs to come out of her cave and become more visible in this campaign. Mike needs to make sure we hear about the “issues”, and get less “highlight” material. It would also be nice to see more of the candidates in person, or actually have them talking to the camera in the ads (like Blagojevich’s recent ethanol ad).

Tell me what you thought of the first round of TV spots…

Crunch Time September 5, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, Politics.

That’s what I’d call this stretch from Labor Day to Election Day for all the November Candidates.  You have 2 months of time to do your best campaign work.  Sure, most candidates have already done tons of work, but in the close races; these two months are crucial.  Why?  The undecided voters.  The 52nd Senate race between Judy Myers, Mike Frerichs and Joe Parnauraskis is an example of where these two months will be the deciding factor.   This figures to be a close race, and every vote will be needed.  The work completed in “swing” districts/areas/precincts will make the difference.

Which race(s) intrigue you the most?  What “swing” areas are crucial in the local races, like the 52nd?  How do you feel about the statewide races?

Please discuss.

Hot Rod’s Energy Plan August 23, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, Politics.

Check this out.

Legit energy plan or campaign season initiative (as JBT is dubbing it)?

AS A VOTER, does this mean anything to you? Or are you skeptical about it’s true value?

I’m interested to see/read your thoughts…

Domino Effect: Possible Danville Smoking Ban? August 14, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, Politics.
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As you all probably know, the cities of Champaign-Urbana have enacted smoking bans. Urbana’s ban already in effect for restaurants (bars/taverns to come Jan 1st), Champaign’s ban will take effect January 1st of 2007.

Now, the Danville City Council is beginning to take public comments in regards to the issue. Here’s a Commercial-News article about the story.

I love this quote from Ward 6 Alderman Steve Nichols:

“I just think that we just need to ease into things,” he said. “I honestly believe in the near future there will be an almost total ban everywhere.”

Honestly, I think he’s right. Ease into it, listen to the public and at least let everyone speak their piece about the issue. Everyone will feel better about it in the end if you honestly listen to what they have to say; instead of pulling them by their hair, kicking, and screaming (metaphorically speaking). The Mayor expects the public comments period to last 3-4 months.

Did C-U area have similar periods of time for public discussion? Or do you think they rush the issue to the table?

So far, I like the Danville approach to a possible ban. Of course there are the same worries amongst bar/restaurant owners about possible business loss, etc. I haven’t heard of any special interests groups being involved with this so far, which is unlike the C-U area.

Basically, Danville, after watching C-U stumble their way through a smoking ban; will have every opportunity to get this right. They will have seen what to do and not to do and they should get the best solution on the table. Hopefully, for all parties involved, they do.

I guess that’s the benefit of being slightly behind the curve. I love the progressive attitude of C-U (in all things, technology, government, etc), but sometimes that can get you into trouble with a lot of things. For example, you buy the very first iPod, only to find out that it still has a lot of bugs to work out. It’s a dumb thing to be resistant to change, but it’s also not smart to always be the first to do something.

I look at it like this. It’s like the old saying goes…..patience is a virtue….